Amid all the modernity that many have come to associate with Dubai, it’s good to know that you can still find a slice of old Dubai!
Here are the places you should keep a look out for!
Located between the Dubai Creek and the buzzing Bur Dubai district, the historic Bastakia Quarter is famed for its lanes lined with traditional wind-tower architecture. Some of these old buildings have been transformed into art galleries and cafes. XVA Gallery specializes in contemporary art from across the Gulf region, while Majlis Gallery carries a good collection of Middle Eastern artwork.
For a taste of traditional cuisine, visit the Arabian Tea House (formerly Basta Art Café), a popular courtyard café with a picturesque garden to relax in.
If museums are your thing, head to the Dubai Museum, which is housed in 1787 Al-Fahidi Fort, considered the oldest existing building in Dubai. The museum may be rather small, but it houses an impressive collection of local antiquities and artefacts that sheds light on Dubai’s history, culture and traditions.
When you’ve had enough of the over-the-top craziness of Dubai’s mega malls, take a breather and head to the city’s traditional markets instead, known as souks. At the Gold Souk, you’ll find streets and streets of shops lined with dazzling displays of gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, opals and amethysts. But don’t be too blinded by the sparkling baubles – remember to bargain for whatever strikes your fancy. If you work your haggling right, you should be able to get merchants to drop their asking price by as much as half.
The Spice Souk is another market worth visiting, with its narrow streets and unique aromas. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered a different era. Here you’ll find stalls hawking aromatic frankincense, dried lemons, chillies and a plethora of exotic herbs and spices. Many stallholders will be more than happy to chat with you, dispensing advice on what herbs and spices will best suit your needs.
Last, but not least, the Textile Souk is a treasure trove of woven fabrics in all colors, textures and weaves. The choices are endless, from satin and silk to velvet and cotton. The textile and spice souks are situated nearby the bustling Dubai Creek.
Visitors can hop on an Abra, a traditional timber punt that ferries passengers from one side of the creek to the other for just 1 UAE dirham, approximately USD 27 cents.
Inspired? Come make a booking at Fraser Suites Dubai today!